A Tree by the Stream

Monday, November 22, 2004

Too old for this?

Dave Long threw down the gauntlet--he actually put a link to my blog on his. Now I have to write something. As blogs go, mine has been slow paced. Dave is pretty faithful--he has something new on faith*in*fiction just about every day.

My son had something flu-like last week. I'm too old to be getting up in the middle of the night to deal with vomit. But I told him: I'm your mom. It's in my job description. Getting up in the middle of the night isn't too bad. It's getting up again for work a few hours later that's so hard. He's back in school again today, and so am I.

My plans for Thanksgiving are . . . none. I have no plan. I might get really extravagent and fix myself some Chex mix, or take myself out to dinner, and I will pick up the phone and call family. I haven't spent Thanksgiving by myself since the first year I was separated, and it was pretty miserable. I invited myself to various places after that, for the years that DS was with his dad, but this year I haven't made any plans. DS will go off this year with his dad and dad's girlfriend. At some time during the 4-day weekend I will spend several hours studying for a microeconomics final, and several more hours filling out a grad school application. I even let my boss know I'm available to work Friday if I'm needed. That might be a first. Trying hard not to feel sorry for myself.

Maybe I'll do a little more reading on climate change to cheer myself up. That's a link to a fairly moderate site. If you want to give yourself the creeps, read the Pentagon's writeup on abrupt climate change.

Or ponder this message from the Inuit, who never needed a word for "robins" until the last few years.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Blowing Hot and Cold

If you're still worrying about global warming, you're a couple of worry beads behind.

I like to think that I'm a sensible person, not entirely immune to alarmist yellow journalism, but capable of identifying (and ignoring) junk science. I would, for instance, ignore a headline that ran "Scientists Now Believe Global Warming Caused by Alien X-Rays."

But I'm starting to sit up and take notice. For instance: The NY Times ran Big Perils Seen in Arctic Warming on October 30. It's an advance look (provided by a "leak") at a science report scheduled for release on November 9. 300 scientists from eight countries participated, along with the elders of native communities.
The Arctic "is now experiencing some of the most rapid and severe climate change on Earth," the report says, adding, "Over the next 100 years, climate change is expected to accelerate, contributing to major physical, ecological, social and economic changes, many of which have already begun."

Our current administration isn't likely to lose any sleep over polar bears and seals, but effects on permafrost might get even W to sit up and take notice:
Oil and gas deposits on land are likely to be harder to extract as tundra thaws, limiting the frozen season when drilling convoys can traverse the otherwise spongy ground, the report says. Alaska has already seen the "tundra travel" season on the North Slope shrink to 100 days from about 200 days a year in 1970.

Did you notice the reference to climate change? "Climate change" is about to replace "global warming" as a buzz word. Or worse, "abrupt climate change."